Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet

The Pilot Knight fountain pen was sent over by Ron at the Pen Chalet. Thank you Ron! I pictured this pen being either shiny and white or matte black; either the knight in shining armor on a white horse thing, or a black knight on a black horse thing. With that in mind, the Knight showed up and this is what I have to work with! On to the show!
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Body Material: Metal
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 5.36"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.58"
Length (posted): 5.66"
Barrel Diameter: 0.31" - 0.48"
Section Diameter: 0.33" - 0.38"
Nib material: Stainless steel
Weight: 34 g
Fill type: Cartridge/converter
Price: $48.00USD SALE $24.00USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet

Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
I keep thinking the pen is $24.00USD and must keep reminding myself it's $48.00USD; it's just that Pen Chalet has a good deal on it right now. Either way, I was pretty surprised by the packaging. It's pretty nice and fairly luxurious for this price range. I think it looks much classier and nicer than the packaging I received with my Prera (which was more expensive as well).

The solid box is a faux navy leather. It opens like a clam and the top is lined with a soft satin fabric. The bottom tray holds the pen in the center with a pinched grip, and there are also two more slots to hold pens. Overall, it's a lot of box for a little bit of pen, but it protects the pen. Packaging rarely impresses me and while this isn't beautiful packaging, I think it's much nicer than typical Pilot packaging around this price range. As Pentorium notes - it is much better than the Lamy boxes!
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
The Knight reminds me of the Metropolitan with its metal body and sleek shape The body is matte silver, with blunt ends that taper slightly. The center where the cap threads on to the body is shiny chrome, which gives the pen a nice aesthetic balance.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
It has more detail to it that makes it look fancier than the Metropolitan though, like around the clip's attachment to the cap, which is oblique. The clip is also shiny chrome. The section is black and offers nice contrast to all the bright metal.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Inside the barrel is an aerometric converter.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
The nib is a simple steel nib and has a good size for the pen's body. It is a Japanese medium so it writes quite fine. It says Pilot Super Quality Japan on it, and indicates the nib is a medium.

To review a pen, I ink it up immediately without doing anything to the nib. I approach it the way a very new user may: fountain pens should come from the manufacturer ready to go, in my opinion, in order to make them more user-friendly. In other words, I gave this a test run straight out of the box. The results were pretty poor and I was pretty disappointed, especially after my positive experience with the inexpensive Metropolitan.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
The nib was very dry and I struggled to get it to write for the first page of the writing sample, going over lines and applying pressure to the nib to draw out ink. The nib definitely needed adjusting. Prior to adjustment, it was dry, scratchy, and wrote very inconsistently. After making the nib a little wetter, it wrote much better, with consistent ink flow, though still a little on the dry side for my tastes. It also felt less scratchy once the ink was flowing better.


Ignoring the nib's performance, I do really like the way the pen feels in hand. It's a solid, robust metal body, with good weight and balance when unposted. Posted, it feels top heavy for me and my hand wears out quickly. The metal, threads, and section are all smooth and it's very pleasant to write with. I really like it. It's just that darned first experience with the nib.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
It's a good sized pen for all hands, and has good balance unposted for smaller hands, and can work posted for larger hands.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet

The Knight resembles the Metropolitan, especially the silver one! The Knight appears a little more elegant, with the slightly thinner body, blunt ends, angled cap and more solid clip. The Metropolitan is more rounded and a little wider, a touch longer, with rounded ends and the clip looks and feels less elegant.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet
The Metropolitan weighs 26 g, compared to the Knight's 34, which is noticeable. For me, the Metropolitan works both posted and unposted, because it lacks the extra weight of the Knight.
Review: @PilotPenUSA Knight Fountain Pen - Medium @PenChalet

The Metropolitan is available at Pen Chalet for only $15.00USD in a variety of finishes and in both fine and medium steel nibs. It's a great deal, especially if you prefer a lighter pen. The weight difference between the Metropolitan and the Knight is significant to me. I think the Knight looks more elegant but the Metropolitan feels more comfortable. Alternately, one could just buy both for the retail price of the Knight ($48.00USD) at Pen Chalet since the Knight is only $24.00USD at Pen Chalet right now.

The Knight is very nice: it really shines in being a solid, robust pen, especially for the price. It's attractive, elegant, and simple. It's also easy to tweak the nib should you get a dry one. Given that you can get it for half its retail price, I'd say give it a shot if it appeals to you!

I received this pen free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

And don't forget you can get 10% off at Pen Chalet until the end of the year on your purchases! 

Pen Chalet Coupon


William Eagleburger said...

What did you do to the nib to adjust it? I've always had a good experience with Pilot nibs, having used the 78G and a Metro. So this was somewhat of a surprise.

Chrispian H Burks said...

I had the same problem with the nib. I haven't had a chance to try adjusting it yet. For $24 I day go with a Lamy Safari. Writes so much better. Super disappointed with the Pilot Knight. Feels and looks great but doesn't write very well.

Azizah Asgarali said...

It does feel and look great! What a shame, isn't it? It's a lovely looking pen. I love Safaris but I felt this one looked so elegant and professional. I may do a quick post on how to adjust the nib as I've received a few comments from others as well that they have a dry nib. Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate the input!

Azizah Asgarali said...

Ah I use SBRE Brown's method of making a nib wetter (he has a video on it). I was quite surprised by this nib myself. This is the first Pilot I've used that has had this issue. Very odd. However, it works well after making the nib wetter and giving it another good flush after that. (By the way, I LOVE the 78G!)


Bob said...

Pilot usually does such a great job in the entry level pen price range. It's a steal at $24 but not if it doesn't write well. Sounds like it may be another hit and miss and you weren't as lucky on the nib lottery this time. I do find it interesting how close that articulated clip design is to the Sheaffer 300. Thanks for the review

Azizah Asgarali said...

Hi Bob! Nice to see a familiar "face" :) I agree - all their nibs are usually great, even on the inexpensive pens like the 78G. I really was surprised by this one, and I don't seem to be the only one who has had this experience. Fortunately, it was easy to fix, but others may not know right away what to do with their pen (especially if they are a new user picking this up because it is in the entry-level price range).

Chrispian H Burks said...

I did the nib adjustment from the link you posted and it does write a good deal better. Still not as good as the Safari but quite usable. It probably won't end up in rotation much. It does look very, very good though! I had high hopes for this pen. When it's not on sale it's like $50 and I just couldn't recommend that. So many other good choices from the $25 - $50 range. So many reviews having the dry issue with this pen. I'm working on my review of it and it's likely to be my first negative review of a pen. Such high hopes for a slick looking pen. They can't all be great I suppose, lol.

Peninkcillin said...

Well, it looks like I wasn't the only one who had problems with the nib. Mine didn't write terrible but it wasn't as wet and smooth as I prefer. I also didn't give it a pre-wash or attempt to adjust it.

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